Monday, January 22, 2018

Life can be hard

Well....it's the middle (ok, past the middle) of January already. Wow...how did THAT happen? I just flew back into CO Springs again for another 3 weeks. Of course, the last few weeks have been in the 50s and 60's...and then it SNOWED yesterday, and the forecast is a high in the 40's (or lower) for the next TWO WEEKS! Of course, that could change any time...and I sure HOPE it does (for the better, let's just get that right out). I will have my mt bike as always...pick it up from work tomorrow and bring it back to my hotel.

Anyway, life in our family took a terrible turn for the worse a bit over a week ago. Our Mom had her 9 month cancer scan (after the first 6 months of chemo things were shrinking so her oncologist switched her to 2 diff chemo's to try to shrink what's in her lungs)...a week ago Thurs was the scan n Friday was her appt w/ her oncologist. Well. It seem that NONE of us were ready for the results...we were all expecting continued progress, and maybe even to set a date for surgery to remove the shrunken original ovarian tumor. That was not to be. It seems the cancer stopped shrinking and was attacking anew...now she has spots all over her liver which was clear 3 months ago. Her oncologist said she's sorry but it's beyond hope and stopped her chemo, and said to make her final arrangements...gave here 6 months...give or take (said she really didn't know and it was just a guess).

To say that we ALL were totally dumbstruck and blindsided would be an understatement of biblical proportions! Thank goodness my little brother was there...he had flown in to help w/ the financial stuff (Moms husband John is now in a nursing home, and the state is looking to get money, looking at things like taking his house, maybe my moms house, any money they have saved, their annuities, stuff like that). Mom took it all pretty hard obviously (her surprise diagnosis)...even tho her husband is in a nursing home (where she has a little apartment attached to it so she could walk over and be with him pretty much all day every day, except chemo Fridays) she has been still 'sort of' his caregiver...keeping the nursing home staff on their toes making sure they do it right and don't skimp on him.

So...now what to do? She is up in Minnesota (they went there for her Chemo as that's where her husband is from and their health insurance is based there, they can only be out of state for so much time each year...so they couldn't stay at her place down in Arizona for her treatment). So back last May they flew to MN for her to begin treatment, and it wasn't very long after that when her husband started a RAPID decline in his health...he has Parkinson's and leukemia...but it's been pretty well under control and he was quite able-bodied and able to drive the golf cart down in Yuma, and pretty much take care of himself.... and suddenly he declined so far so fast that they had no choice but to put him in a nursing home...certainly my Mom can't take care of him...(her oncologist stressed that from the start that she is NOT to be his caregiver, or she wouldn't even consider starting her on Chemo). Her diagnosis of stage 4 Ovarian cancer REALLY wiped him out and he declined so rapidly from that point, it was hard to believe!

I have to admit that we all were truly thinking she would beat this...or at least get it to a point where she was keeping it at bay and live rather normally. But that wasn't to be...seems we were looking at it thru rose colored glasses. And now she's SO far away from all of her family (me and my brothers) that we can't possibly mount any kind of continued presense. John's girls (he has 3) are all up in MN in that general area...but 2 of them live 3 hours away, and the other is fighting major health concerns of her own right now...so they aren't able to 'be there' for him at the nursing home either.

Being as the diagnosis for Mom is terminal (and who really knows how much time she has...her Dr. said the 6 months was just a guess..it could go wildly either way)...so my brother asked her to come back with him to his home in Texas where they would care for her until the end. She finally agreed (she realized that she was leaving her husband fairly soon one way or another, but if she goes to TX at least she won't be ALONE...and if she waits too long she won't be able to travel..so there was a time constraint to the horrible decision). So last Friday she said goodby to her beloved husband for the very last time and got on a plane w/ my brother and flew to TX. I can't possibly fathom how hard that was for her to do...it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And I know that my brother has been a true Rock of Gibraltar thru the last week and a half of HELL ON EARTH...I can't even begin to say how difficult it was for him to get this far.

So...Mom is now down in TX with family...I will likely fly down to visit when I leave CO in early Feb, as I'm really hoping to see her before things get really bad...and we all will just take it from there.

And so....just WOW! How quickly life can throw a wicked curve-ball at you! We are all (my family) pretty much in uncharted territory here...as we've never dealt with anything like this before. We're VERY happy that Mom is with my little brother and his family...they are really (REALLY!) awesome people...probably the best people I know...and it's by FAR the best place I can think of for her to be thru this end of life ordeal.

Well...that about brings you up to date with our descent into a not very fun time. I guess everybody goes thru something of this nature, as their parents get old and eventually pass on. I guess there are better and worse ways for life to end, and none of us get to choose. We can only hope to go without pain and hopefully as easy on the remaining family as possible. I forge the quote, but it's something like "none of us will get out of this life alive".

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

As has been my tradition since I started this site, my last post of the year is my online Christmas card that I send out to all my family and friends. And this year will be no different.

So without further adieu, here's to my asylum friends and family.







Merry Christmas and a VERY HAPPY New Year to the Asylum! 
Until next year...spiked egg nog for EVERYONE!!

Cheers!